File Naming

Naming your files appropriately and providing alt tags for images is important for search engine optimization (SEO) and website accessibility, and functionality. Please follow these conventions when adding files to your site.

All media on you site (documents, images, video, audio) should use the same conventions:

  1. Use simple, concise descriptions of the file content
    • start with a general topic and add specific descriptive words as needed. 
    • make sure your titles accurately describe the purpose and content so they can be easily identified once they are downloaded to the user's computer. 
  2. If appropriate, choose descriptive words contextual to the containing site or page.  For example, viu-<site>-<page>-<description>.jpg (eg. viu-it-drupal-training.pdf)  

  3. Do not use revision, dates, years, or any words not associated with the context of its Title in the file name (“for_web”, “DRAFT”, etc.) unless the file is required for archival purposes.

  4. Separate words with hyphens

  5. Keep file names reasonably short (3 - 8 words)

  6. Acceptable file types are: pdf, docx, xlsx, pptx

Examples

File NameContext
VIU-Financial-Aid-Tuition-Waiver-Application.pdf Appears on the Financial Aid website
VIU-Faculty-Management-Financial-Money-Matters.pdf Appears on the Faculty of Management website, financial page

 

Replacing Files

  • BEFORE uploading a new version of an existing document, you MUST rename the file so it has the EXACT same name as the document it is replacing.
    • Do NOT add a date or version #.
    • If you upload documents with different names it can cause "file not found" errors within your site.  By using the same name, you will maintain the search engine indexing and ensure all existing links to that document stay active. It can be a lot of extra work if the web team has to edit links and manually delete old files.
  • If you need to remove a document and are NOT going to replace it, please email the Helpdesk and create a ticket to ensure all references and links to the old document are properly removed from other web pages.

  • Ensure that all documents (PDF and DOCS) use logos used that are current. Consult the Strategic Marketing department web page and review the many resources they offer.

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